07 January, 2018
Legendary astronaut John Young died Saturday. Young received many special awards and recognitions, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1981, and he was inducted into six aviation and astronaut halls of fame.
He flew into space twice during NASA's Gemini program in the mid-1960s, twice on the Apollo lunar missions and twice on space shuttles in the 1980s.
Young's first time in space came in 1965 with the Gemini 3 mission that took him and astronaut Gus Grissom into Earth orbit in the first two-person USA space jaunt.
Young served in many capacities at NASA including: Chief of the Space Shuttle Branch, Chief of the Astronaut Office, Technical Associate Director and more.
He flew twice during the two-man Gemini missions of the mid-1960s, twice to the moon during the Apollo programme, and twice more aboard the new space shuttle Columbia in the early 1980s. Over his 42 year career at the space agency, Young played key roles in some of NASA's defining moments, and helped transition the agency from its focus on reaching the Moon with Gemini and Apollo to the Space Shuttle era.
He retired from NASA in December 2004. Details about his death were not immediately released.
Young was one of the three astronauts to travel twice to the moon.
Robert Crippen, Young's co-pilot on Columbia's successful maiden voyage in 1981, told The Associated Press that flying with Young was "a real treat".
Young orbited the moon on Apollo 10 in May 1969 in preparation for the Apollo 11 landing that was to follow.
"Anybody who ever flew in space admired John", said Crippen, a close friend who last spoke to him a few months ago. NASA picked him in 1962 for its astronaut program.
We're saddened by the loss of astronaut John Young, who was 87. "May his memory serve to inspire future generations of explorers to dare greatly, act boldly, and serve selflessly".
Born on September 24th, 1930, Young attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned his degree in aeronautical engineering in 1952.
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